I’ve always loved seeing up above. Growing up and spending many months in the lake house, especially those 3 months in the summer, we had clear nights and no light or city pollution, we’d sit outside or lay in the grass and look up above. The sky. The Milky Way.
Back then, in Chile, I knew few stars by name and could identify just a couple of constellations. But I could stare the dark sky for hours.
After college I moved to Portland, and being in the city all the time, makes it hard to see and enjoy our night sky. Also, the trees, and the hills, all the green that I so enjoy, makes it hard to see the big sky. We have to make an effort to get into open space. We like camping in the forest, where there are dark nights, but we are usually protected by trees all around.
But when we do have a chance for a dark night, it takes me back 35 years ago all the way to the other side of the world, laying on my back, watching up above.
I still don’t know many stars or constellations, but I can recognize a few, in this northern sky. Two summers ago we joined a group of folks from OMSI and watched the moon as it was setting, learned about that night sky, saw Saturn… yes! Saturn! That Saturn. It was amazing. We still talk about it how surreal it was. As if they had put a sticker in front of the telescope to show the Saturn that you’ve seen in the books. But no, it is exactly how we’ve studied it. That was cool.
And we also got to see, and identify correctly the International Space Station (ISS.) I can see it sometimes when we have the chance to be in dark skies, but of course, it’s only about every 90 minutes that it passes around, so if we are lucky I can tell it apart from other satellites.
Even with my not so fond love of Facebook, I am intrigued by the Astronaut Scott Kelly‘s posts and photos from his year long stay in the ISS. I’ve seen his videos from aboard from 2010, showing his work area and sleeping bag as well as a tour of the Window of The World. There’s one from this year’s expedition, with an interview from his first 100 days above the station. And there are so many other cool videos, but I love watching how they live and have their routines in space as well as images of the Earth?
I hope it’s OK to share the photos he’s posted online, because I am thoroughly enjoying his work from up there, and I am really hoping he’ll make a book with his photos… I love them! I am having fun seeing how our Earth is seen from up there. How incredible and small it looks.
Astronaut Scott Kelly and the newly arrived lettuce. Selfie with lettuce, as he posted online.
Scott Kelly’s Summer Vacation 2015.
Wow… that is some trip and experience. Some stories to tell, for sure. As the stories we’ve been collecting ourselves.
Thank you Astronaut Scott Kelly for sharing these wonderful and beautiful photos of the Earth from up above. It is amazing to see it from a different perspective. It is a treat to realize what technology is and lets us do today. I don’t know the specifics of your studies at the ISS, but getting instant posts on Facebook from someone so far away, making it all seem so much less big. Not quite smaller, just less big.